Holiday weekend crashes kill 13 in Ohio

Provisional numbers released Monday by the State Highway Patrol show 13 people were killed in 11 crashes on Ohio roadways over the Thanksgiving holiday period.

According to a release from the State Patrol, the reporting period was between Nov. 27 at 12 a.m. and Dec 1 at 11:59 p.m. The statistics are two below the four-year average, but are an increase from last year. In 2012, 12 people were killed in nine crashes.

Of the 13 killed this year, seven were not wearing an available safety belt, three were killed in two OVI-related crashes and one pedestrian was killed.

No fatal crashes were reported in Seneca County, according to information from the State Highway Patrol.

“Even though we are encouraged that OVI-related fatalities decreased this holiday, lack of safety belt usage remains a significant problem area,” said Col. Paul Pride, patrol superintendent, in the release. “Motorists need to remember that wearing a safety belt is the single most important thing they can do to protect themselves during a crash.”

According to the release, the State Patrol arrested 503 drivers for OVI offense during the holiday weekend, a nearly 9-percent increase over last year’s holiday.